Types of Shovels

dirt shovel

You will need various shovels to maintain your landscaping and gardens around your home. Like garden hoses, shovels are a staple of yard projects. There are many types of shovels and each one has its own purpose.

The goal of this post is to help you understand which shovel to use for each project around your yard. Home outdoor projects are much easier with the right tools.

Here are the different types of shovels:


The most common shovel for outdoor projects is a digging shovel. The purpose of this tool is very self explanatory as you will use it to dig holes in and around your yard. A digging shovel has a sharp and pointed tip for loosening soil and cutting buried roots and hardened sod. There are also digging shovels with a square tip for edging and harder soil.

You should purchase a steel digging shovel as it is more durable than an aluminum model. Handles are available in composite, wood and plastic.


A trench shovel is used for digging trenches and laying irrigation pipes. Their design is similar to digging shovels. The main difference is the squared sides which help prevent soil from spreading into other areas from where you intend to dig the trench or irrigation line.


A drain spade has a much narrower shape than trench or digging shovels. It is used for digging precise holes in garden beds where other planting has already been established. You can also use a drain spade to clear out loose soil from an existing trench. This tool is much more precise than the previous two shovels.


A trowel is a handheld shovel used for smaller gardening projects. A trowel has a very short handle and shape and is perfect for potting projects or reseeding. This is one of the more common shovels homeowners have in their arsenal.


An edger is an offshoot of a shovel. It features a long handle but the blade is a half-moon shape used along the borders of sidewalks and pavement to create a clear edge or barrier from the pavement and the garden bed or soil.

You now know the necessary types of shovel to become an expert in gardening and landscaping for your home.